Now in its 3rd year, Simple Life’s Peace of Mind Month which runs throughout April, remains as relevant and engaging as ever.
After what’s been a sustained period of difficulty for many people – emotionally, financially, physically – it comes as no surprise that we were inundated with nominations, receiving nearly 100 during the competition period.
As always, nominations varied from dramatic tales of front line work or coming back from the brink of extreme illness, to those more day to day heroes who have helped friends and neighbours just by being there with a smile. Everyone who was nominated is deserving of recognition and acknowledgment for their incredible resilience, loyalty and compassion.
We were – eventually – able to select this year’s winners, and are pleased to share them with you below.
NOMINATED BY MURALI
The nominee, who is my wife has gone through a lot in the past few months but is still keeping her foot firm on the ground and taking care of me and our wonderful little daughter.
Despite losing a close family member and having seen her mum suffer from severe Covid within the last month, she still keeps things at pace and never felt tired!
On top of this, she is also a full-time PhD student and sharing her capacity juggling between the roles of a daughter, wife, mother and student.
I feel she definitely deserves more than a pat on her back and needs a little ‘peace of mind’ gift for her selfless dedication to her family.
Prize: Vouchers towards new office furniture
NOMINATED BY ASHLEY
I wanted to nominate my wonderful husband, Brian for the award.
Brian suffers from COPD and had been shielding since March 2020. In order to protect him from Covid, myself and our 2 daughters social distanced from him even in the house. This meant he wasn’t able to hug us on his 50th birthday last May, or sit at the table and eat with us. I had to sleep in my daughter’s room to keep him safe.
Unfortunately, in October 2020, despite all our efforts, we all contracted Covid. Brian was rushed to hospital and we had 1 minute to say out goodbyes over the phone, he was put on a ventilator. He went onto this machine with the understanding that there was a very slim chance of survival, however, when speaking to me on the phone he did so with bravery and courage that blew me away.
For 5 long weeks I was told that it was likely he wouldn’t make it, this was made worse by our inability to visit him and hold his hand. Finally, Brian turned a corner and started to wake up.
A further 3 weeks saw Brian learn how to breathe for himself. Eventually, he came home to us and the rehabilitation started. He had to learn how to speak, walk, hold a pen, use a knife and fork and how to chew. He did all this again with remarkable courage and perseverance.
Last week Brian was able to enjoy his first day out after his shielding ended. My daughters and I are incredibly proud of him as he continues to battle the symptoms of long Covid, including PTSD. But being back with his family is what he calls ‘the best medicine’.
Thank you for reading our story xxx
Prize: A new, more accessible bed
NOMINATED BY DARRYL
Despite getting together in 1985, we went our separate ways, but got back together 11 years ago. The unprecedented situation that the world is in right now made us re-evaluate our priorities, and as we are no longer spring chickens we did not want to wait years to get married (due to the backlogs of cancelled weddings).
I proposed to Debbie this Valentine’s day, and over 7 weeks Debbie has arranged our special day for just the 2 of us – eloping to get married at Gretna Green, Scotland on April Fool’s Day without the knowledge of any family and friends!.. the suspense has nearly killed us (especially for Debbie who can’t keep a secret!)
With no shops open because of the pandemic, Debbie has been unable to try on wedding dresses and had to order her custom made wedding dress online. This made for a VERY stressful period awaiting for the dress – with it arriving just in time and thankfully fitted perfectly.
As if this wasn’t enough, Debbie started a new job too, and has had to contend with upskilling and training – whilst still organising our secret wedding, hiding wedding flowers, shoes and organising hotels etc. and not letting on to family and friends.
Finally, we had our big day and we were married in the Old Blacksmiths shop at Gretna Green. We had to endure social distancing, wearing masks during the wedding (except the vows) and forego any other attendees but were at last able to break the news to our family and friends.
Debbie looked gorgeous on the day and the relief of sharing our news cannot be understated!
Prize: Contribution towards their Wedding Blessing abroad
NOMINATED BY FAITH
I have nominated my mum because she was redeployed from her current role to work at Oldham hospital in the COVID PPE department. It was very stressful for her as she worried about putting her family at risk. She would come home and bath in hibiscrub and disinfect her belongings.
She always has a smile on her face and thinks of others first, never herself. At Christmas, she gathers ‘goodies’ for the homeless and distributes them over the festive season. Last year in the pandemic, she took goody bags to the grave diggers who were forgotten and not mentioned during the pandemic for all of their hard work in such a sad time.
My mum looks after my Nanna, who has recently had a bad accident and broke her pelvis, hip and shoulder. Mum goes to work, comes home, looks after Nanna and then comes back home to look after us. She lives for my little boy Noah, he is her heart beat. When times have been tough, Noah seems to lift her up. Her wedding has been cancelled twice due to COVID, hopefully 3rd time lucky will be next year. Yet she is still managing to smile! So I think she deserves a pamper for all that she does and continues to do for us and for others.
Prize: Shopping vouchers, flowers and champagne
NOMINATED BY KIARNA
From the moment I arrived, around 7 weeks ago now, Mel has been incredibly supportive and helped me and my 2 kids to settle into my apartment and has always been on hand when I’ve really needed her.
Feel like I’ve known her for years which makes me feel like I was meant to move here.
Prize: Vouchers towards a holiday
NOMINATED BY KERRY
I nominate Ash because not only was it a stressful time during Covid, she continued to work as a mental health nurse supporting a range of different people.
She also supported me during my pregnancy and was there when I needed her.
Another reason why I think she deserves this is; before Christmas she, her partner and her daughter were broken into. There were three men in her living room at 5am in the morning. She continued to live in the house at Wards Keep because she loves the house and estate. They have paid a lot of money out to ensure that they have security on their house which keeps them safe and also keeps my home safe too.
I would really appreciate if you would consider Ash for the prize. She really does deserves it.
Prize: Shopping vouchers, flowers and champagne
NOMINATED BY BECCA
I would love to nominate my amazingly wonderful neighbour and new friend Nikki. I first met Nikki in late 2019 when I started my PhD. We moved into the development and convinced Nikki to move in with her flat mate just around the corner from us and we haven’t looked back since.
Through the pandemic Nikki has been a constant support to me and my family after a particularly difficult year of caring for my aunty through to the end of her life. Nikki was a constant rock and always took care of us and our house when things got difficult. She was doing all of this whilst completing her PhD which she has recently submitted.
Nikki is so kind and regularly supports many members of our development. I genuinely could not have survived this year without her kindness.
Prize: Pet-friendly holiday vouchers to go away with her dog!
NOMINATED BY CHARLOTTE
We moved two hours away from our families during lockdown to Sheffield. I suffer with endometriosis & have undergone two surgeries since being here. Tom has taken me to hospital, even in the middle of the night & taken countless weeks off to look after me. While also doing the cooking, cleaning and going to work. He got me out of bed, showered me, fed me. He then unfortunately got into a car accident.
It feels like he is deserving of a pick-me-up after everything he has given me in the past 6 months, especially at a time where we are so isolated and haven’t been able to receive any help from family or friends.
Prize: Vouchers towards a new Games console